Have you ever traced with your eyes the fall of a leaf through the autumn air, admiring the beauty, and wondering just how long the wind would carry it this way and that before it inevitably falls to its new home? Ten days before my dad’s passing, we took a photo together under a gorgeous, full yellow maple tree. His life was soon ending, and I knew it. My hand rested on his heart as we stared into each other’s eyes, silently recognizing a shared lifetime of a sometimes-complicated father daughter relationship. I smiled, burying the tears welled up in my heart. What was sometimes so complex was suddenly so simple. I just loved my perfectly imperfect dad.
During one of our last, mostly lucid, conversations I asked for an agreed-upon signal to know he was well in his new “home.” I pushed through my nerves to be vulnerable and ask for what I wanted. Dad hadn’t wanted to talk at all about dying. “How about a leaf in my face, Dad?” He grunted in disapproval of my suggestion, so I made two more, finally settling on a deer walking in my path, my dad adding, “Everything will be near. You’ll know in the eyes.” “I don’t know what exactly is possible, Dad, but I believe in possibilities,” I said. I closed my eyes and laid back in the chair, thankful for having listened to my heart’s nudge.
Days later, my dad entered the state of final transition and hadn’t uttered a sound for twenty-four hours. It seemed unimaginable to never again hear his strong, yet soothing voice which, just days ago, had brought comfort to my heart as he sang me a few bars of a childhood song. Keeping vigil at his bedside, I remembered obsessing over the amount of suffering and fear he might endure in this time, causing a long emotional torment of my own. Whether exploring possible criminal consequences of giving my dad too much morphine in the end, or sleepless nights spent reading horoscopes and researching the death process, in a desperate attempt to know exactly when and how he would die, for two years I tried to be perfectly prepared for an event that, like birth, is its own miracle and can only be supported, not controlled.
Lying alongside Dad in his hospice bed, my head on his chest and his warm hand in mine, I surrendered myself to Nature’s Way like a leaf to the wind just taken from its tree. This journey was my dad’s to take and I needed to learn to let him go. In that stillness, I detached from all the what-ifs, disappointments, and grief, and instead put my power in full presence and unconditional love.
In that moment of surrender, I experienced what I describe as not of me. As we lay peacefully, hands entwined, I suddenly witnessed hues of purple swirling in my mind’s vision, and felt an incredible warmth encompass my entire body. I thought surely the sun from the window was playing tricks on me. But then with full clarity, I felt an energy enter my back, go into my heart center and swirl around, before moving to my shoulder, from which point I followed the feeling as it if were a lightning bug, as it traveled slowly down my arm, into my hand, and, lastly, I just KNEW with total certainty, into my dad.
I hugged my dad tight and whispered in his ear, “Dad, I don’t know what that was, but I hope you felt it too. Take all that love and light in your core with you and leave the old news behind.” I knew, deep within my soul, my dad and I were eternally bonded. I never imagined it possible to feel such peace at such a painful time. At 4:00 a.m. on November 1, with me curled beside him, his hand in mine, my dad took his final resting breath. I had accompanied him on his journey as far as God would allow.
Following my dad’s death, I learned that, like the leaf that is no longer on the tree but remains in the world, my dad was not gone at all—not because I wished it to be so, but because his energy remained, and I could feel, hear, and sometimes even engage with his spirit. The first true awareness I had was hearing his voice in my mind. Shortly after he died, I drove to a park for a walk but found myself too mentally exhausted to move. “Get out of the car, Ambie. You’ve cried enough tears over me in your life,” my dad said inside my head. It was true. I had cried more tears in my life than a daughter ever should, but where had that voice come from? I did as he said, taking a path through tall pines. I said, “I hope you’re alright, Dad.” Instantly, I heard him respond, “I’m fine, Ambie. I’ve got to stick around here a while and help some people, and I’m happy about it.”
I stopped walking, stunned. Surely, I’m making this up, I thought, but I knew I didn’t think that way. I would have said, “Heaven’s so beautiful and I am with my parents and Granddad again. Our beloved dogs, Thunder and Bailey, are here and love you.” Now curious, I wondered, is it possible my dad is connecting with me somehow? And who would he be helping? I didn’t trust this voice at first, but my otherworldly experiences with him grew, accompanied by information I could have never known, and signs and synchronicities without any other possible explanation. My dad now being the wind and me the leaf, shook me from my tree of logic, stability, and control, and during the next months, led me through a transformation toward my inner Light. One I have come to know we all possess, as beings of spirit having a human experience. This Light also simultaneously connects us all.
With this awareness of Light, I see with new eyes and feel with a new sense of being. What once was a pleasurable walk in the woods can now be experienced as a joyous state of union with life. Hanging Christmas decorations with family transformed from a fun seasonal activity to an experience of genuine joy and hope. I am learning to become aware of what arises within when I surrender to presence in my daily life, meditation, and relationships. Our Light is different from feelings of happiness. It’s learning to experience the unwavering love, joy, and connection that is our soul.
In this place of pure rawness, I soon began to experience the Light of other souls from beyond the veil. From a colleague I barely knew, providing striking evidence and messages for his wife I never met, to an acquaintance’s brother who died as a teenager with evidence and messages for his sister; to relatives of colleagues, I rarely spoke with; their Light arose in my awareness, and I surrendered to each experience. In an especially touching moment, the father of a dear friend, who died during my friend’s toddler years, and about whom I knew very little, extended his hand to me in my mind’s eye, so as to shake it for an introduction, after having provided me with clear evidence (later verified) and messages. And during this reach of the hand, he said, with a smile and laugh at the humor of the situation, “Nice to finally meet you.”
The magic of the wind carrying me on this journey has shown, through its whispers and visions, that we are not alone. You are not alone. We are supported in our lives even when it’s unrecognizable to our hearts.
My father’s passing carried me through a season of the death of my ego, and rebirth of my spirit. Now as a medium and an individual who has been graced with the beauty and love of the greater reality and an understanding of the connectedness of us all, I know the path forward is found in the continued surrender to this beautiful life, and in the alignment with the Light that is me, you, and everything all at once. My dad was led home, and me open. Nature’s Way is beautiful.